Alexandra Rydholm posted a poem on her Facebook profile that was so wonderful I immediately asked her if I could credit her in this blog post. Here it is, the most lovely poem, by sculptor Paige Bradley, who makes amazing bronze sculptures as well:
”From the moment we are born, the world tends to have a container already built for us to fit inside: A social security number, a gender, a race, a profession or an I.Q. I ponder if we are more defined by the container we are in, rather than what we are inside. Would we recognize ourselves if we could expand beyond our bodies? Would we still be able to exist if we were authentically un-contained?”
I think a lot about containers, boxes, labels and classifications. I understand the need for them on one hand, not least because they make it easier to talk to each other. They provide a short cut, in a way, which save us from having to explain in more words, what can be summarized in just one. But on the other hand, they put up barriers, limits, restrictions and boundaries that, in many ways I believe, stop us from being all that I am, or at least all I can be.
All these definitions I can attribute to myself: woman, mother, wife, biologist, coach, book reader, blogger, project manager, change agent, caucasian, cat lover, amateur gardener, entrepreneur. And I am sure I can come up with many more.
With this list of attributes, I am assuming you are painting a picture of me in your head? Drawing conclusions as to who and how I am, as a person?
I mean, that’s what I do. But should I? Am I not restricting my ability to see the other person for who he/she truly is? And even worse – am I not restricting myself as well, by adding labels to me? I can honestly say I am more authentic and much more myself now, than I was 15 years ago. But the great thing is I am finding out more and more of myself with each passing day.
Who would I be to you, if you only saw 100% Helena?
Who would you be, if you strip off your own labels?